Wanting to eliminate mandates, UFC fighter BJ Penn eyes run for governor

Courtesy: Getty Images
Courtesy: Getty Images(Courtesy: Getty Images)
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 1:31 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 5, 2021 at 2:10 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - UFC fighter B.J. Penn says he’s throwing his name in the running to be the next governor of Hawaii.

Penn made the announcement on his Instagram account Monday.

The caption to a video post reads in part, “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life but I would never run from a fight or sell out my people. As soon as I step into Hawaii’s Governor office I will remove all new federal and state mandates that have been hurting our economy, residents, and ohana.”

Penn is vocal in his beliefs, saying Hawaii’s freedoms are being taken away, adding that “our economy is being destroyed.”

The post continues, “We will get the best doctors, medicines, therapies, and health care the world has to offer to fight this pandemic and always keep Hawaii among the safest and healthiest states in the union. We will get rid of all vaccine passports. Hawaii will be a vaccinated with Aloha and Unvaccinated with Aloha policy for everyone. Same with the masks.”

Outside of the UFC octagon, Penn has had run-ins with the law, including a recent DUI arrest following an incident at a Hawaii Island business.

UFC President Dana White has also been critical of Penn, calling for his retirement from fighting after Penn was involved in a bar fight on Hawaii Island in 2019.

[Read more: ‘He is done’: UFC president says BJ Penn’s career is over]

Penn himself does not have political experience.

However his mother, Lorraine Pualani Shin-Penn, was involved in politics. She ran for various positions on the county and state level, including an at-large title with OHA.

Other candidates running for governor or expected to in 2022: Former First Lady Vicky Cayetano, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

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